Tweens are the new teens, say child development experts. .
. . physical and behavioral changes that would have been typical of teenagers decades ago are now common among “tweens” _ kids ages 8 to 12.
Some of them are going on “dates” and talking on their own cell phones. They listen to sexually charged pop music, play mature-rated video games and spend time gossiping on MySpace. And more girls are wearing makeup and clothing that some consider beyond their years.
Improved nutrition — and obesity –are causing more girls to start menstruating in elementary school. Technology gives children more access to “adult” images.
Sex, violence and foul language that used to be relegated to late-night viewing and R-rated movies are expected fixtures in everyday TV.
And some parents fail to set limits for their children.